Restoring Beauty

Beautification overhaul brings light and allure to homes, park as a welcome to the South Side

On a Thursday in September, Tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Today Southside partnered with Home HeadQuarters’ Block Blitz, Syracuse University alumni and community neighbors to make a visual difference on the South Side of Syracuse.


The newly installed Borden Pocket Park, initiated by the Greater Syracuse Land Bank, is located on the corner of West Borden and Landon avenues.

Community volunteers such as Patrona Jones-Rowser, leader of the Beautification Task Force of TNT Southside, brought her love for landscape design to the project.

She also facilitated the redesign of the newly installed Borden Pocket Park, initiated by the Greater Syracuse Land Bank and located on the corner of West Borden and Landon avenues.

The park is now complete with new fencing adorned with colorful birdhouses and cubed benches.

All were painted by volunteer youth and community residents. The area around the park also has been generously graced with perennial plantings to enhance the green space design.

Vaughn Irons, a native of Syracuse and an Atlanta-based real estate developer and planner, once again developed an opportunity to “give back” to his hometown by obtaining help from his Phi Beta Sigma fraternity brothers and SU alumni. Many came in from across the country for the annual “Coming Back Together” weekend to play a vital role.

Volunteers armed with gloves, rakes, weed cutters, shovels and high energy prepared the South Side gateway from Taylor to Burt streets and extended to the former Coyne Textiles parking lot on Cortland Avenue. Coyne Park will soon be the home of the newly designed signage welcoming all to the South Side of Syracuse.

Additionally, the Taylor Street bridge will soon undergo construction to prepare for the “Welcome to the Soul of Syracuse” overpass signage and murals. Those will be painted in spring 2018.

London Ladd, a local artist/illustrator, has worked with TNT Southside for the past year to develop murals that will depict the strength, dignity and continued growth of the South Side.

Home HeadQuarters chose West Borden Avenue on Syracuse’s South Side as its annual Block Blitz endeavor. Homeowners were gifted with renovations to their homes, including landscaping, house painting, fence restorations and driveway repairs — a generous contribution made to the families who live and have invested their lives in this neighborhood.

Many repairs were long overdue and well appreciated.

This event is just another beacon of light shining brightly in what was once deemed a darkened part of town.


— Column contributed by Lou Carol Franklin, a member of TNT Southside
and a lifelong neighborhood resident

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